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Despite the fact that I get a lot done, I do not consider myself a high energy person.

So I wasn’t really concerned with how tired I have been. At least not at first.

I homeschool 5 children, work part-time from home, do the housekeeping, cooking, laundry, etc. It’s a lot of work. Being tired at the end of the day is a sign that it’s been productive.

The problem is being tired all day long.

I noticed that I wasn’t feeling refreshed when I got up in the morning, even after a relatively good night’s sleep. I am not a night owl. I’ve been going to bed at 10 or 10:30 most nights.

Another thing that I’ve noticed over the last 9 months or more is that I’ve had periods of depression. They seemed to be somewhat cyclical, so I figured it must be hormonal.

But I didn’t do anything about it. I tried to make sure I wasn’t doing “too much”. Get rest. Tried to exercise some, but I was so tired, that didn’t happen much.

I have yearly visits to a dermatologist for a skin check and while I was there I mentioned that I’d had a lot of hair loss. She thought it would be good idea to run some blood tests.

It turned out that I have both a Vitamin D deficiency and Iron-Deficient Anemia!

No wonder I’ve been tired.

I should mention that I have never had anemia before. I’m not sure about the Vitamin D deficiency, but I suspect that it’s due to some dietary changes that I’ve made. In my efforts to eat more whole foods, I’ve cut out some processed things that were enriched with a lot of vitamins. (Carnation Instant Breakfast was my daily breakfast for approximately 20 years, I’m embarrassed to admit.)

I’m not going back to the processed foods. I’m taking Vitamin D and iron supplements for a while to increase my levels. I’ll be adding more foods that contain iron to my diet.

After less than a week on the Vitamin D, (I’ve just started the iron) I am already feeling a little better! It’s very likely that the Vitamin D deficiency was the cause of my more severe periodic depression. That’s my working hypothesis at least. We’ll see.

I know this sounds weird, but I was happy to find out there really was something wrong with me. (Especially since it was so simple.) I was afraid that it was just how things were going to be. And that was depressing.

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2 thoughts on “Tired?”

  1. Kristen, I’m so sorry you were dealing with all of this. I’m definitely going to keep what you’ve gone through in mind and my levels if I feel anything like that. I know when we went GF we had to make sure that we still had things that had iron and vitamin D because we were no longer eating the cereal and breads fortified with those things. Though I hadn’t dealt with anything as bad as you did, I was feeling different and knew it had to do with the lack of those minerals and such. Now I make smoothies with spinach in it, and I know that helps with the iron. I hope you continue to feel better.

  2. I’m glad you found an easy to solution to feeling better—I can relate to wondering, “Is this the new normal? Or is there something wrong with me?”

    I have heard that Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more and more common due to the fact that so many people use sunscreen (which protects us from harmful rays but also keeps us from making our own Vitamin D from sunlight) and that it’s a fat soluble nutrient found in milk, butter, and other so-called “unhealthy” foods that we’ve been taught to avoid. Yet another reason why our bodies need healthy fats and the sun—I wonder if the weather has contributed to your low level. I think D also helps us to absorb iron, so the two may be linked?

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